Thursday, July 22, 2010

N.C. ABC boards meet – in S.C.

The association for North Carolina ABC boards just wrapped up its summer conference, which it chose to hold in South Carolina, our colleague Ben Niolet writes today in the N&O's Under the Dome blog.

He writes:
The N.C. Association of ABC Boards conference was held at the Marriott Grande Dunes Hotel in Myrtle Beach. There were sessions on ethics and the legislative outlook for the state's alcohol laws.

There was also a session on handling the news media, although its hard to say whether that session included any advice about sending state dollars out of state for a long weekend conference. The conference wrapped upon the same day Gov. Bev Perdue signed into law a bill meant to curb abuses and conflicts of interest by local boards.

Now there's nothing illegal about having a conference out of state, but it doesn't sound great either. The association has received the message on its out of state events. The contract for the most recent conference was signed two years ago and would have been expensive to break.

"We've taken a lot of criticism on that," said Joe Wall, executive director of the N.C. Association of ABC Boards. "We're not going to be beat up on that anymore because we're not going to do that anymore."

This isn't the first time the conference has gotten less than positive attention. In 2007, news reports noted a conference, then held in Asheville, featured lots of drinks and subsidized golf outings provided by liquor companies.

Wall said the conference was held at Myrtle Beach because there just aren't any hotels in the state that could accommodate the whole group at a time. A previous conference at Wrightsville had the group split between a couple hotels.

"I think the question somebody should be asking the governor and our travel — the people that are promoting travel in North Carolina — is why we don't have a first-rate modern hotel on the coast somewhere in North Carolina that can handle groups of 300 or 400," Wall said.


Anonymous said...

Wall is right. How come the coastal area of NC doesn't have a property large enough to properly host a conference/convention of 300 plus people?

Anonymous said...

They don't have to go to the coast. I'm sure the folks who live on the NC coast would rather not have a huge hotel spoiling the scenery.

barkomomma said...

The question somebody should be asking the governor is why these boards still exist?


Timothy Whitson said...

Why the heck does it have to be a freaking RESORT vacation type experience? I thought they were supposed to be tending to BUSINESS. This is nothing short of the "spoils" of the victors.